Academic research is a recursive process by which new ideas are created from existing ones. This means that sources are frequently identified, visited, and revisited as the process moves along. The purpose of this kind of research is largely to figure out what has already been said about a given subject. As a scholar, a key part of your job is to figure out what the “conversation” is among the experts in your field before adding your own voice.
This is where the annotated bibliography comes into play. For this assignment, you will gather and annotate seven credible sources pertaining to your research subject. You will assemble your sources into a single document meant to lay out the key points of conversation surrounding your topic of research. The purpose here is to help you identify problems that could be studied further.
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- At least five sources must come from peer reviewed journals or academic publishing houses (i.e. university presses or other academic outlets, such as think tanks)
- At least one source must be a printed book
- All citations must be completed in APA format
- Citations must be assembled in alphabetical order
- File must be submitted as either Word Doc or PDF
- 1″ Margins
- 12-Point Times New Roman Font
An annotated bibliography can be an immensely useful document in the research process, because it gives you a pool of useful sources to dip into when you need information. It also allows you to articulate what each source says, as well as why each source is relevant to your project. Indeed, an annotated bibliography can help you see what the academic conversation is, what problems exist, and what needs further study. This can be a great opportunity to refine your research into useful questions that address existing problems.
A full annotation must include a complete citation (APA, for us), a brief summary of the author’s or authors’ argument, and a brief description of the source’s relevance to your own work.